The SNP has said reports Labour MPs may abstain from today’s Immigration Bill are "staggering" and Jeremy Corbyn must show leadership and oppose the Tory Bill which would see an end to freedom of movement and risks damaging Scotland’s economic, demographic and social needs.
The SNP has repeatedly called on the UK government to devolve immigration powers to the Scottish Parliament so that the Scottish Government is in a position to design a system that addresses Scotland's economic and demographic needs.
The UK government’s very own White Paper suggests that there would be an 85% reduction in the number of EEA workers to Scotland if Freedom of Movement came to an end. Scottish Government analysis found the average EU citizen in Scotland adds £10,400 to government revenue and £34,400 to GDP each year.
Businesses have also highlighted their concerns with the Director of CBI Scotland, Tracy Black, stating that the “proposals outlined in the white paper don’t meet Scotland’s needs or the needs of the UK as a whole, and would be a sucker punch for many firms right across the country.”
Commenting, SNP Immigration spokesperson Stuart McDonald MP said:
“It would be staggering if Labour fails to vote against the very worst of xenophobic Tory legislation. Jeremy Corbyn must now commit Labour MPs to opposing this catastrophic Immigration Bill.
“The Tory government’s Immigration Bill poses a very real danger to people’s livelihoods and risks ripping away the rights that people across the UK and EU have mutually benefited from. SNP MPs will oppose the Bill every step of the way.
"The UK government must be held to account over its future immigration policies. Instead of transparency and scrutiny, the Bill risks handing a blank cheque to the Home Office through sweeping Henry 8th powers which will allow UK government ministers to change the immigration system post-Brexit with little parliamentary scrutiny.
“Time and time again, the UK government has failed to address Scotland’s economic, demographic and social needs. It is high time that immigration powers were devolved to the Scottish Parliament so that the Scottish Government is able to develop a tailored migration system that works for Scotland.”